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Small food, big flavor

By SHARWIN TEE, The Philippine STAR Published Jun 02, 2022 5:00 am

Somewhere in our history — my guess it was the ’80s — everyone seemed to equate “big” with delicious eating experiences.

Larger portion sizes and unlimited food deals became preferred, but as the saying goes, “Great things come from small packages.” Nothing could be truer in the food world, especially with these little flavor explosions.

1 + 1 = 10

Nothing would please me more than a plate of crispy lumpiang shanghai, except for maybe a plate of rich, garlicky longganisa. Now, if you’re sitting at home wondering, “Why wouldn’t someone combine these two legends of Filipino cuisine into one?” you needn’t wonder anymore. Someone did!

Pop's Original Lumpianiza has any flavor that will satisfy.

Pop’s Original Lumpianiza ( on Instagram and Facebook) has done what should have been obvious long ago, which is to stuff delicious longganisa in lumpia wrappers. I know. I should have thought of it years ago, too, but in any case, I got to try a few of their variants, and my favorite has to be the Tuguegarao lumpianiza.

The strong garlic flavor spiked with a hint of zestiness from the vinegar marinade is made all the more enjoyable with the crisp, fried lumpia wrapper. If you’re into the sweeter side, their Hamonado lumpianiza is delicious as well.

Now, if you’re tired of pork (although I would seriously question why) you can also get the burger or taco experience in small bites of lumpia. I particularly enjoyed the Cheeseburger lumpianiza with the cheese oozing out of every bite.

A naughty side of me wanted to fry up some bacon and mix it with mayo to create a dip and make it a bacon-cheeseburger experience, but that might be overkill. Let me work on that next time.

Of course, the best way to enjoy any fried lumpia is right out of the fryer, so I think it’s best to order them frozen by messaging their IG or FB accounts, have them delivered and fry at home. You can also fry them up in the air fryer. Just brush the lumpianizas with oil, and fry at 180 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes.

Ice cream without the drip

I love ice cream as much, or even more than, the next person, but I can never eat two scoops on a cone. I eat slowly and in the Philippines, that means the second scoop would have melted already before I got to it. This is why the Poppits from Sebastian’s Ice Cream (@sebastiansicecream ) makes perfect sense for slow eaters like me.

Poppits from Sebastian’s Ice Cream now comes by the pint.

Poppits are basically little ice cream balls, each smaller than a ping-pong ball, and they are covered in a crisp chocolate coating. This means I can eat as much of the ice cream as I want without it dripping since the ice cream is inside the coating.

You get the same delicious ice cream that Sebastian’s has been known for, and you get a little bit of the crispness you would get from a cone in their chocolate coating.

Sebastian’s now sells Poppits by the pint container with flavors like mint chocolate, cookies and cream, coffee, and my personal favorites, dark chocolate and bubblegum.

Sebastian’s is located on the fifth floor of The Podium mall, right in front of the cinema. My suggestion? Take a pint to the cinema, and snack on ice cream as you watch a movie.

At home, it’s also a great way to enjoy ice cream. Anytime you feel like ice cream, you can just pop one or two in your mouth and your ice cream craving will be satisfied. No need to bring out a bowl and an ice cream scoop.

The love boat

At the start of the year, I was asked in interviews to predict what would be the possible food trends of 2022 and one of the things I mentioned would be the rise of super-fresh sashimi available for home delivery. Almost six months into the year and I am glad I was right. I mean, I’m glad because I love sashimi!

My personal problem is that a lot of sashimi home deliveries would mean large, family-sized platters, and since I usually eat at home alone, I wouldn’t be able to finish one. Well, to be perfectly candid, I actually finished a family platter of sashimi once, but for the sake of this column, let’s pretend I can’t.

The Sakura Boat from Infinity Gourmet Foods is perfect for solo dining.

The fine folks at Infinity Gourmet Foods (you can find them on Facebook and on Instagram ) have a Sakura sashimi boat that’s perfect for one person (or two if the sashimi is meant to be an appetizer).

What I love about the little sushi boat is the selection. I do love to eat different kinds of seafood when I order sashimi in Japanese restaurants, and the Sakura boat features seafood like chutoro tuna, salmon, hamachi, scallop and even hokigai (surf clams). I also got a couple of gunkan (gunship) shaped sushi, which had ikura (salmon roe) and uni (sea urchin). Overall, it was very fresh and I can tell you, it was a very happy dinner that night.

You can order from Wednesday to Sunday via their social media platforms; just make sure to order before 5:30 p.m. if you want the sashimi delivered on the same day.

Size matters not

The great thing about great food is that it can come in different sizes. Sure, now and again, I would enjoy a giant burger with all the fixings, but tiny bites of burger in a lumpia is welcome, too. A scoop of ice cream? Sure, but little ice cream balls? That’s a yes, too! Sashimi platters to share? I do love them, but I also love little sashimi boats for one.